Cambridge Room 101: The Cindies Queue
“Once in the Cindies queue someone threw up on me and my soul died.”
Room 101. In Orwell’s 1984 it was a torture chamber said to contain the worst thing on earth.
More recently, and in this case more relevantly, it has been the title of a BBC program in which guests vie to persuade His Benevolence Frank Skinner that their pet-hate for a particular category is worse than those of their competitors.
He then cranks a lever and the phenomenon disappears down into a heavy vault stashed beneath the BBC studios never to be mentioned again. Ever wondered what happened to blamzellfudge, car jam, spoon skipping or tree-jacking? Frank happened. His lever happened- All are gone.
So which one Cambridge phenomenon would gain entry to Cambridge’s room 101?
This week, Oliver Yeates takes down that most miserable institution, the queue for Cindies.
What most people don’t know is that when Mufasa warns Simba of the ‘shadowy place’ to which he should never go, he was in fact referring to the Cindies queue.
To queue for Cindies is to pay Satan £5 to condemn your soul.
A writhing pit of drunken disarray, regret, and shame, the queue is enough to make any Cambridge student re-think any off-handed use of the phrase “cattle class”. It’s the middle finger to the early night you could have been enjoying tucked up in bed. John Stuart Mill would have had a fit at such a vile tyranny of the boozy majority.
The Cindies queue plays host to all echelons of Cambridge’s diverse studentship. Below is a list of all the components you’d need if you ever wanted to create a Cindies queue of your own. Which, obviously, you don’t.
People from Swaps:
The notion of walking in a straight line is an archaism to those who literally swap till they drop.
The lucky (and intolerable) few that survive come flailing in with their Hawks and Osprey privilege cards and a march so arrogant I half expect one of them to proclaim a declaration of conquest over Cindies. You can almost smell the land-economy and signet rings. To those watching who retain a shred of dignity: pity their guffaws as blaring drunken acknowledgements of their suppressed inadequacy. (Ouch. Too harsh? So are those garish chinos.)
The townie v. gownie tensions rise as you realize there are less and less people you can pull off “let’s use our words, not violence” with.
Carnage. Vile. Repugnant. Death.
The Sweat & Smell:
People who clearly would rather be in Fez:
Wipe that look of “I gap-yeared in South-East Asia and enjoy films with sub-titles” off your face and come to terms with where you are. Cindies is happening and you will dance to its eclectic mix of mainstream and cheese.
Something of an anomaly in Cambridge, especially to someone like me who rocks a resting bitch face. But your over-earnest look and eagerness to make conversation with those you’re sweatily pressed against to concerns me, and no, I won’t be accepting the friend request you send me in 2 hours time.
We all saw that your “friends” in the privilege card queue turned you away. Your disingenuous and perfectly practiced smile isn’t fooling anyone.
I would pity you, good sirs and madams, but you treat me just as much as interchangeable vermin now as you will when I see you in a few years time as the demons at the devil’s door.
To the poor unsuspecting chain with unfortunate proximity to this pit of despair – I feel sorry for you. Your questionably priced 9 part water to 1 part flavour soups aren’t the window’s fault.
You’ve probably noticed by now that I’m using the Cindies queue as a guise for condemning Cambridge’s biggest disappointment: the people. Such a queue is the perfect place to host you all, being the marvelous little snapshot of Cambridge which it is.
I bid you all a happy descent into Room 101, and you can take your unashamed desire for VKs, mobbing, swap-costumes and flagrant disregard for human decency with you.
(I’ll probably see you there).